A project to help authors orphaned by the ChiZine scandal

Thomas Mann quoteUnless you're a professional speculative fiction writer, you are likely unaware of the scandal that erupted recently around Canadian small press publisher, ChiZine Publications. If you'd like to fully understand the abuse that interns, staff, and CZP authors have had to endure over a number of years, you can read all the nauseating details here on the Writers Beware blog. It's a disturbing read.

The relevant point for my post here is the "mass exodus from CZP, with authors requesting rights reversions for their books..."

That exodus and the requests for reversion of rights (meaning the rights to publish the book are returned to the author from the publisher) means that a large number of CZP authors now have orphaned titles: their books don't have a publisher. This includes titles that were published in the past as well as books still to be published.

I'm a former CZP author myself (Chimerascope) and am sickened by all of this. I wanted to find a way to help these authors. I can do nothing about the yet-to-be published titles, but I had an idea to help authors who had books in the CZP backlist (previously published).

I reached out to Jason Chen, who runs StoryBundle and who I've had the pleasure to deal with multiple times in recent years, to ask him if he'd be willing to run an ebook bundle in support of ChiZine authors who've had their CZP titles orphaned. As I expected, Jason replied that he would be glad to.

The bundle would feature previously published titles from CZP authors. All monies from this project will go to the authors. Nothing will go to ChiZine.

I will curate the bundle and donate my curator fee to the author payment pool. I've been in or curated about eight bundles in the past and can attest that a StoryBundle is a great project for an author to participate in. Hopefully, if there is enough interest by authors and the first bundle sells well, we could do multiple bundles.

How you can help:

  • Spread the word: I've contacted many of the CZP authors but not all of them, as I only have contact info for a handful. It would be great if you could point any CZP authors you know to this post. Any interested author can contact me directly here
  • Promotion: Once the bundle comes out, I'll post about it here. Please help me promote the bundle to your family and friends, and on social media. No idea on timing, as authors first need to revert rights and create their own ebook editions as they will not legally be able to use the CZP ebook editions.

Thanks for listening and anything you can do to boost the signal on this.